Panel Rules More Than One Killer in Sharon Tate Case
Saturday, September 20th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 20 – More than one person was involved in the still unsolved murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others last month, says a coroner’s panel of psychiatrists and psychologists. The panel also said it thinks drugs were involved, but did not elaborate on that question. Police have said they found drugs at Miss Tate’s plush Bel Air home where the murders occurred Aug. 9. A coroner’s spokesman said Friday the three member panel felt it would “be impossible for one person to have committed all the murders.”
Robert Houghton, chief of homicide detectives, said of the panel’s determination: “I could not disagree . . . Our opinion had been that more than one person did the killing? and that narcotics played a role.”
Miss Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanski, was slain along with coffee-heiress Abigail Folger; jet set hair stylist Jay Sebring; Voityck Frokowski, an associate of Polanski’s and 19-year-old Stephen Parent . Bodies were strewn about the estate in a scene described as “ritualistic.”
Los Angeles Coroner Thomas Noguchi asked for a psychiatric report — customary in unusual unsolved murders and in some suicides — because of grotesque aspects of the mass slaying, including the hooding and tying of a nylon cord around two of the victims and scrawled inscriptions in blood around the home. Members of the psychiatric team are Drs. Frederick J. Hacker, a psychiatrist; Robert Littman, a psychiatrist who heads the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, and Norman Farberow, a psychologist. The three did not offer an opinion on a motive for the killings.